Each question must be 1200-1500 words.Do not merely repeat the notes. Illustrate examples of arguments elsewhere. Questions: 1) What is the difference between science, non-science and pseudo-science? Are non-scientific explanations ever correct? What should we do when a scientific explanation clashes with a non- scientific explanation? Illustrate with examples. 2) What role do appeals to ignorance play in conspiracy theories? When should we believe that there has been a conspiracy? Illustrate with examples. Each question must be 1200-1500 words.
Critical Thinking Lecture 9: Science, Pseudo-Science & Non-Science 9.1 What is Science? In the US for the past few years there has been controversy raging over the status of Intelligent Design Theory and whether it should be taught in school science classes. The US has a constitutional ban on the teaching of religion in State schools, so a large part of the political issue concerns whether Intelligent Design Theory is science or not. This is a particular instance of a really interesting question concerning the nature of science and the difference between science, pseudo-science and non- science. We will consider this particular question and its more general counterpart, as well as related questions: Should scientific explanation be privileged? If so, why? How much can science explain? When are non-scientific explanations appropriate? Science aims to discover the way the world is and explain why it is how it is. Scientific claims, then, are descriptive claims and explanatory claims. Scientists use a distinctive but fairly varied method that includes a combination of some or all of the following: the framing of hypotheses the testing of hypotheses through observation and experiment the duplication and verification of other scientists’ experimental results the use of mathematical models the use of measuring instruments and other investigative technology open argument when there is disagreement While all scientists use some combination of these methods, the various sciences are divided up according to subject matter, e.g. geology is the scientific study of the Earth’s crust; physics is the scientific study of fundamental particles, forces, space and time; biology is the scientific study of living things, psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour.th th Since the Scientific Revolution in the 16 and 17 centuries, scientists have been spectacularly successful in explaining many things that had previously been total…